Neighborhood Guide: Atwater Village

Because every man wants to explore Los Angeles, even if that means actually walking somewhere, we’re proud to present the Neighborhood Guide, a series that reveals the must-see, -do and -eats in a burg near you. Up today: Atwater Village.

Atwater Village looks like a one stoplight town, a pass-by on your way to something bigger, something better.

But don’t let the ubiquitous Subways and Starbucks fool you: This junction between Los Feliz and Glendale is worthy of your weekend afternoon.

There’s good music, great shopping and some ridiculously tasty food.

And with the San Gabriels parked at one end and the L.A. River and the hills of Griffith Park at the other, this stretch of Glendale Blvd is preeettyyy beautiful.

So get out of your car and look around, man.

Let’s take these blocks on the heel and toe.

Proof Bakery

Among Atwater’s longer standing newer spots, Na Young Ma’s Proof Bakery is probably the most well known. Her croissants are flaky, buttery and amazing. They’re done exactly how they’re done in France, where the pastry is laid out in laments and as it’s rolled up butter is added to each turn. Get there before it closes at 4 p.m.

3156 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (map)

Alias Books

Amazon is where you go when you know exactly what you want. But sometimes it’s nice to toss it up to fate and stumble upon the right book at the right time. A small bookshop like Alias, which earns its keep on the strength of its curation, is where those delightful discoveries take place.

3163 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (map)


Served on a plate with warm flatbread, tangy marinated cabbage and micro greens, or in a sandwich, the crumbly falafel at Dune has been packed with kale and parsley and fried so the inside is bright green — this tiny take-away spot is a destination restaurant. They also have Bulgarian feta (the best kind).

3143 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (map)

Jacknife Records & Tapes

To listen to Trevor give the lay of the land at his store, Jacknife Records & Tapes, is similar to listening to Lance give Vincent Vega his choices for premium heroin. “We have the five dollar records at the front; they’re still good quality, no scratches, just not as top shelf as the stacks in the back, where you’ll find the rarities. Over here we have more tapes than Amoeba. Old cassette players up top. Some restored stereos. Vacuum tubes. We even have old Super Nintendo and Playstation games.”

3149 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (map)


A little insider tip on All’Acqua, the hood’s airy, rustic Italian restaurant at the northeast end of the street: the parking lot next door is a farmer’s market on Sundays, which means that the breakfast spaghetti at brunch and the contorni at dinner are extremely fresh and seasonal on that day. A great spot for a lazy, Italian-wine-filled brunch.

3280 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (map)

Ozu East Kitchen

Ozu is a new a Japanese fusion restaurant that serves a mean bowl of pork belly ramen along with some crispy edamame. One of the chefs in the kitchen did time at Trois Mec and confits a chicken leg the French way. Plus, their selection of crisp wines and light reds fits the vibe: clean yet complex.

3224 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (map)

Some parting notes…

The area has a music heritage. The Beastie Boys used to maintain an office and recording studio above Ozu East Kitchen. The restaurant Bon Vivant Market & Café has music most nights, and the Zebulon Café is a Brooklyn music venue that’s opening soon on Fletcher, a few blocks away.

Other restaurants on the block worth noting: Kaldi Coffee (solid single source joe), Canelé (great date spot) and Thank You for Coming (community food pop-up).